The Cost of Utopia

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• The city's doing so well financially that some City Council members — Democrats, even — are raising the specter of a tax cut. With the Independent Budget Office projecting a $688 million surplus in 2008, why not? [NYP]
• A souped-up playground is coming to South Street Seaport. One suggested game: groups of children "loading containers with sand, hoisting them up with pulleys and then lowering them down to wagons." David Rockwell designs the kiddie labor camp, pro bono. [NYT]
• Time to check in with our pal Koral Karsan, Yoko Ono's driver turned attempted blackmailer, now that the full text of his demand is public. Stalking points: Karsan frames his $2 million demand as compensation for "pain and suffering," threatens to expose John as a "wife-beating asshole," and boasts friendship with "NY media." And yet, Koral, you never call anymore. [NYDN]
• Say what you want about the new Village Voice, but at least it's not afraid of readers' letters. From the new issue's crop: "You … take a dying paper and kill it over and over again." "The Village Voice is dead." "Reader's Digest is edgier than you are." [VV]
• And a city Department of Sanitation cap is apparently a huge seller and a nascent fashion staple; Scorsese, Liv Tyler, et al have been spotted in them. So reports the Scotsman, our trusted source for apparel news. [Scotsman]